CAMPAIGN INTERACTIVE: PERSPECTIVE

People really are starting to get me worried. I’m sure it’s nothing per-sonal, but just about anywhere you go these days that is even remotely new-media related - take any bar in London, for example - invariably the talk seems to turn to the burning question that appears to be taxing most of the finest young minds around: ’what’s your start-up idea?’.

People really are starting to get me worried. I’m sure it’s nothing

per-sonal, but just about anywhere you go these days that is even

remotely new-media related - take any bar in London, for example -

invariably the talk seems to turn to the burning question that appears

to be taxing most of the finest young minds around: ’what’s your

start-up idea?’.



Initially my response to this question, which is always asked in a

slightly furtive manner (arm goes up and hand scratches the back of the

head), is that I don’t have one. You know, which is like, the truth. The

other variation on the theme is this; people sidle up to you and say

’S-O-O-O ...’ (and it’s always a big, long, capital letters, slow

rolling use of the word) ’I hear you’re joining a start-up.’



This happened to me at a conference very recently and it does not matter

what answer you give, how desperately you try to deny and extricate

yourself, they will not believe you. The word is, apparently, out.



When you tell people you don’t have a start-up idea and, furthermore,

you are not working on one, this invariably triggers a slightly

suspicious look and various suggestions are, in no time at all, offered

forth that you are (a) of independent means, or (b) lucratively employed

running drugs or guns; I’m just kidding about the drugs, by the way, or

(c) you are retarded in some way. Please double-click the option that

best applies to you.



However, the frequency with which this question is asked is becoming

alarming. It’s even starting to rattle my once ice-cool demeanour, which

might well be gone by the time you read this. The tables have been

turned.



It is now no longer acceptable to say ’I don’t have a start-up idea and

I’m not working on one’, as this response is met by a slightly

dismissive sneer, that implies what kind of loser are you?



The answer is clear to me. I’m a loser lacking a start-up idea (arrrgh,

help). Alternatively, I am a loser who has not joined a start-up

(arrrgh, help).



More vexing still, you now find that everyone, but everyone, who has

ever asked you this question has - since you last saw them vomiting in

the bathroom at some new-media party or other - launched/is about to/is

involved on a strategic/development level in a start-up.



I have decided upon radical action and I am going to remedy this

situation forthwith. If anyone wants me this weekend I will be holed up

at a secret location in Highbury (OK, so it’s my flat) with a select

group of confederates (my flat mates).



We will be addressing the issue of the lack of take-away menus at

moments of culinary crises (most nights, I’m afraid). There has to be a

digital solution to this everyday problem of food slacking. Maybe even

in homedeliverymenu.com.



It isn’t registered. Yet.



Sure, it’s a long domain name at 16 characters. But you never know. The

message is that if you’re going to do start-up, then do one you are

genuinely interested in. Vietnamese take-away it is, then.





Edited by Gordon MacMillan Tel: 0181-267 4904 E-mail:

gordon.macmillan@haynet.com campaign website: www.campaignlive.com.



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